LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's a business NewsChannel 11 continues to investigate. The city says Scrub-A-Dubb Barrel Company has numerous violations over the past 30 years and that the company has had toxic spills as recently as January and May 2007.
After the last city council meeting city staff complied a history of complaints against Scrub-A-Dubb dating back to the '70s. City staffers are looking at zoning changes to the area near East Kemper Street and North Ash Avenue.
Mayor Tom Martin says that these documents prove his point - which is - the city does not want to do anything that might make the company think environmental violations are okay. "It's been complained on for years and years by citizens that live up in that area of the city. I think they have a legit concern," says Mayor Martin. "We've had such a long history over the years. The city, state and federal environment agencies all are trying to get that property clean up," he adds.
Violations over the years include improper storage in 1982, inspection reports detailing "indiscriminate mixing of the contents of drums together in poorly ventilated areas" in 1986 and the release of hazardous wastes in 2002.
The initial zoning change that came before the council was to change the zoning of the land where Scrub-A-Dubb is located to industrial manufacturing - a move the city council agreed was not in the best interest of trying to get the property cleaned up. "I didn't think it'd be a good idea for us to change the zoning because in that zoning district you are allowed to have outside storage," says Mayor Martin. Something according to city photographs and video the barrel company already does.
Martin and the council recommended removing the land Scrub-A-Dubbis located on from the initial zoning change. The vacant land south of the barrel company, if passed Thursday, will be considered zoned heavy manufacturing - as far as city knows Scrub-A-Dubb does not own that property. "I felt it was better to keep the current zoning so didn't appear city trying to legitimize their operation," says Martin.
Martin adds that the city's powers are limited when it comes to enforcing environmental protection laws, but hopes to see federal and state agencies take action soon. "Either make them clean it up or come clean it up and put liens against their property for clean up," says Martin.
NewsChannel 11 contacted Scrub-A-Dubb. According to city documents, if the company does not comply and pay fines, the Texas Commission on Environmental Equality will refer the case to the attorney general.
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